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Old November 5th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #1801
Haljackey
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The Sea-to-Sky highway is a joke when compared with other mountain hugging highways. No tunnels, no elevated portions. All they did is chip away at the mountain side and pave. They spent the bare minimum on it and thats why there are still portions of the highway with traffic signals and 1 lane instead of 2. You can't even really call it a highway.
I disagree. I think it's one of the most scenic drives in North America. The route doesn't really need tunnels if it's hugging the coastline. Remember this is not going through a mountain range but rather between the mountains and the ocean.

If the sea to sky were a full freeway I think it would lose some of it's ascetic appeal. The upgrades made to the route were justified and as Metro One mentioned I think the funding was properly allocated by the British Colombian Ministry of Transportation.

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There is a lightrail in that corridor in Phoenix.

However, the 24-lane section is just a few miles long, as over 1 million people are dependent on that single section of I-10 for their travels to downtown Phoenix or other locations in the metro area. If you think about it, 430.000 vpd = ~ 215.000 individual vehicles = ~ 258.000 people, just 25% of the people in that area will actually use that section of Interstate 10 for commuting, shopping, recreation, etc.

I don't think you can "enforce" a balance between mass transit or roads though. People who like that idea believe too much in a perfect world. Canada is a free country, where people fortunately can decide themselves which mode of transport they prefer.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #1802
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I disagree. I think it's one of the most scenic drives in North America. The route doesn't really need tunnels if it's hugging the coastline. Remember this is not going through a mountain range but rather between the mountains and the ocean.
I agree with the senic bit, but to be honest, aside from widening, the highway poses the same environmental hazards that were present before.

The provincial Govt. openly ignored the environmental impact assessment and destroyed a ecologically sensitive area (Eagle Ridge Bluffs), rather than build a 1000m, twin tube tunnel. The excuse, aside from cost, (and it was as pathetic as one can get) was safety, due to the length of said tunnel. Currently, the longest tunnel in the province is 710m (Cassiar Tunnel in Vancouver)

Though alignment has been improved, tunnels, as well as avalanche galleries would have substantially improved alignment, as well as safety of highway users. Today, the highway is still closed at times (both directions) due to rockfalls given the near vertical slope of said mountain sides.

The whole debacle was just something to make one of the most incompetent Provincial Govts. in history (after Glen Clark's NDP stint) look good.

There "are" plans to improve the whole length of BC HWY 99, but it won't happen. All the usual excuses.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #1803
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I'm not too familiar with the area (never driven on it), so I'll take your word for it.

One thing's for sure, the upgraded sections are better than what was there before.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 01:16 AM   #1804
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The Sea-To-Sky should of been built on elevated platforms like this

image hosted on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako...n/photostream/
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Old November 7th, 2010, 01:00 AM   #1805
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Awesome photos zivan56! Thanks for sharing!

Have you ever seen this video of the Sea-To-Sky Highway?

Absolutely beautiful drive.
No problem. Nice video....the last time I drove the Sea to Sky before this was around 2001, so it has improved quite a bit. Although the Boulevard style section near Squamish is really strange and surreal to me for some reason. I haven't driven past Whistler ever, so this was the first time.

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Also Zivan56, thanks for posting those photos.

That 1 lane stretch of #12 near Lillooet is something else! In the photo you can see many chunks of rock that have fallen down. That stretch of road is built along a very steep canyon wall (the Fraser Canyon). Don't worry though, it is a very rural area and that "highway" does not service any major centers, only a couple towns with low populations (Lillooet is the main town that road services, and its population is only 2, 324 people) Also, Lillooet is serviced by the 99 highway to the west. The town of Lillooet itself is located in the base of the Fraser Canyon. A very interesting place to visit in the summer if you love heat.
Actually, 12 is way better than 99. 99 has wooden single lane bridges and really bad road quality. I don't think any of those wooden bridges can hold up an 18 wheeler TBH. Likewise, it has parts where the road suddenly turns to "Macadam style" and then back to asphault. It also has some sections that have such bad asphault quality and very narrow road surface that makes you have to drive on the shoulder if there is a truck in the opposite lane.
I would recommended going via 1 and 12 if you want to get to Lillooet and not do a number of your car.
FYI I drove via 99 to Lillooet and came back via 12/1.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 03:54 AM   #1806
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Actually, 12 is way better than 99. 99 has wooden single lane bridges and really bad road quality. I don't think any of those wooden bridges can hold up an 18 wheeler TBH. Likewise, it has parts where the road suddenly turns to "Macadam style" and then back to asphault. It also has some sections that have such bad asphault quality and very narrow road surface that makes you have to drive on the shoulder if there is a truck in the opposite lane.
I would recommended going via 1 and 12 if you want to get to Lillooet and not do a number of your car.
FYI I drove via 99 to Lillooet and came back via 12/1.
Nothing wrong with the one lane bridges. They'll take a fully loaded log truck easily. I pointed out quite a while ago in this thread that the highway was originally built to serve the forest industry as a resource (logging) road. The Provincial Govt. upgraded it in the early 90s to secondary highway standards (paving, some realignments). It was a good drive back in 06 when I last drove it, and that was in the winter with a 2wd Ford Ranger. It sounds like it's deteriorated a bit over the last few years though, going by more recent posts (stupid Govt. cutbacks... ).

That aside, HWY 99 from Whistler to Lillooet is an awesome drive. Just remember it's a mountain road (reminds me of Norway), so drive/prepare accordingly, take your time and enjoy.

HWY 12 is a neat drive, but has some very narrow spots (1 1/2 lane) high up on a near vertical mountainside. Again, it is a road that was upgraded to secondary highway standards many years ago (50s/60s I think). Lots of spectacular views of the Northern Fraser Canyon (Most people think the actual canyon starts south of Lytton), but there are few places to pull off the road.

I'd recommend doing both as a two day trip, allowing a full day to get the most of both routes (round trip from Lillooet possible via Lytton Ferry and West Side Road). Good accomodation is available in Lillooet.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #1807
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Yeah, that is a fantastic round trip. You go through so many different ecoregions and landscapes in a single day, it is amazing. \

Don't quote me on this but surfing the BC government's highway upgrades website (they list the all) I remember seeing some for the 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet, and i believe it may even include the replacing of the single lane bridges. Again, this is a secondary rural highway artery, and it it really no different from the secondary rural highways I have bee on in similar terrain in Europe and even Japan.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #1808
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But those upgrades won't happen. That was all smoke and mirrors to get the Olympics. There's actually very little that needs to be done between Whistler and Lillooet, mostly minor grade realignments.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #1809
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what?? These proposed upgrades have nothing to do with the Olympics, they are very recent and I believe are part of the economic stimulus plan.

The only upgrades connected with the Olympics was the 99 from Vancouver to Whistler, which were obviously completed before the Olympics.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #1810
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Some neat air photos/photos of rural Ontario Highways:

New Highway 69... I'm assuming once the 2-lane gap is completed this segment will then be called Highway 400.









The Veterans Memorial Parkway in London crossing the Thames River.



Highway 11 with a large bend and median.



The Queen Elizabeth Way between Hamilton and Saint Catherines.





Anyways, hope you enjoyed them!
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Last edited by Haljackey; November 8th, 2010 at 08:18 AM.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 05:16 AM   #1811
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Here are some more air photos of Ontario Highways. These particular photos were taken by a friend of mine who's a pilot.

Highway 404 in Toronto just north of the Highway 401/404/Don Valley Parkway interchange, looking north.
image hosted on flickr


The Don Valley Parkway in Toronto near the Prince Edward Viaduct.
image hosted on flickr


The Gardiner Expressway heading west into downtown Toronto.
image hosted on flickr


The Highway 427/Queen Elizabeth Way/Gardiner Expressway
interchange in Toronto with Lester B Pearson International Airport in the background.
image hosted on flickr


Highway 410 in Mississauga looking south toward the Highway 401/403/410 interchange.
image hosted on flickr


Highway 401 in Toronto. That line of high-rises is along Young Street, which is apparently the longest street in the world.
image hosted on flickr


The Queen Elizabeth Way's Skybridge over Hamilton Harbour (Lake Ontario) between Burlington and Hamilton.
image hosted on flickr


Highway 403 in Hamilton.
image hosted on flickr


The Freeman Interchange
in Burlington that connects Highway 403, the Queen Elizabeth Way and the Highway 407 Express Toll Route together.
image hosted on flickr


Anyways, hope you enjoyed them!
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Old November 10th, 2010, 07:17 PM   #1812
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Nice pics!
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Old November 10th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #1813
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Ditto, Awesome pics, thanks for posting!
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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:04 PM   #1814
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Quote:
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Highway 7 is one of the most diverse roads in Ontario. Amazing to see it turn from a country road to a full freeway and then back again.
And an unnamed suburban arterial that will have a subway stop in 5 years.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 05:48 AM   #1815
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Glad you enjoyed the images!

I was in Toronto today to take a look at developments/redevelopments in the city and surrounding area. Makes what's going on here in London look pathetic. Took a few half-decent pictures of some highways while I was there. May as well show them here.

Ground view of the Gardiner Expressway / Don Valley Parkway interchange from Toronto's old distillery district.


Looking at the Gardiner Expressway heading east toward downtown Toronto from a Highway 427 onramp:


An interesting perspective of the Highway 401/427 interchange, where the two highways run semi-parallel for a short distance. (Highway 401 is on the ground, the 427 the second level.)


The 18 lane segment of Highway 401 near Pearson Airport.


Highway 401 mega-widening just west of Toronto from 6 to either 12 or 14 lanes.
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Old November 11th, 2010, 11:10 PM   #1816
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They make metro Vancouver's highways look like absolute crap
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Old November 12th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #1817
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^ Ontario has a pretty amazing highway network.

However, I would say that the Golden Age of Highway Building in Ontario has been over for quite some time.
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Old November 12th, 2010, 05:09 AM   #1818
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^ Ontario has a pretty amazing highway network.

However, I would say that the Golden Age of Highway Building in Ontario has been over for quite some time.
The fact that there WAS a golden age is a huge plus. We never had one. I've been all over the detroit metro region and you can say the same thing, they're golden age of highway building is over. But their highways are still very impressive. Mainly because they had the forsight back then to plan ahead and build for the future.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 02:35 AM   #1819
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The fact that there WAS a golden age is a huge plus. We never had one. I've been all over the detroit metro region and you can say the same thing, they're golden age of highway building is over. But their highways are still very impressive. Mainly because they had the forsight back then to plan ahead and build for the future.
Detroit is kind of an odd example.

I think a lot of the reason their highway network works as well as it does is because over half of the cities former 2,000,000 residents moved away.

If Vancouver suddenly lost half of its population, its roads would probably work well too.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #1820
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They make metro Vancouver's highways look like absolute crap
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The fact that there WAS a golden age is a huge plus. We never had one. I've been all over the detroit metro region and you can say the same thing, they're golden age of highway building is over. But their highways are still very impressive. Mainly because they had the forsight back then to plan ahead and build for the future.
I hear ya. London is very similar to Vancouver in this way, but at least you guys have a decent transit system. We don't even have a bus hub here which makes both our highway and transit systems look like a joke. I believe London is the largest city in North America which doesn't have a freeway to serve local traffic (even Vancouver and Winnipeg have a little something!).

Many in London are very jealous of Kitchener-Waterloo, the two cities combined have a population almost as large as London's, and they have a nice highway system, a bus hub, and firm plans for light rail transit. As a result, London has been losing it's economic attractiveness while K-W is becoming more and more attractive.

The golden age sure passed us, the Province was willing to pay half the cost of the proposed highway network. Ever since those plans were canceled in the 1960's, all this city has done is bicker at the thought of some sort of ring road / U-road for the city.
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